The Herald-Sun has been honored with seven writing, reporting and video awards from the North Carolina Press Association for daily newspapers with circulation of 12,500 to 35,000.
In addition, Herald-Sun staff members have won three statewide awards from the Associated Press in its 2017 North Carolina AP News Excellence Contest.
The statewide AP winners include photographer Casey Toth for AP Member Photo of the Year which included photographs from all circulation categories.
The winners were recognized Thursday night at a banquet at the Crabtree Marriott hotel in Raleigh as part of the NCPA’s annual convention.
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Contest judges had the option of commenting on the winning entries. Where comments were made, they are included after the headline of the winning entry.
▪ Herald-Sun Staff, General News Reporting, 1st place, for “Sheriff arrests ladder climber in Confederate statue destruction.”
▪ Virginia Bridges, Beat Feature Reporting, 1st place, for “Durham man wants quilt marking violent deaths to inspire conversation, action.”
Judges comments: “Moving story about a man who was inspired to do something simple, tangible and powerful to help remember those who died violent deaths. Multi-sourced story captures humanity of the effort.”
▪ Casey Toth, Best Video, 2nd place, for “Durham man continues to honor homicide victims with 60-foot quilt after 23 years.”
▪ Cliff Bellamy, Arts and Entertainment Reporting, 2nd place, for “The arts drove Durham’s downtown renaissance. But did artists’ success seal their own doom?”
Judges comments: “What an interesting take on art and its impact on a community! Nice reporting and research.”
▪ Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan, Serious Columns, 2nd place, for “What’s going down in downtown Durham?,” “She drank from the ‘white’ water fountain in 1955. At 84 she still does what she wants,” and “World War II veteran’s story was ‘America’s story’.”
Judges comments: “Downtown development can easily turn into either a Chamber (of Commerce) story or government-speak and she did a professional job of making downtown Durham a living, breathing personality. Also nice job on the 84-year-old who “doesn’t take any mess.”
▪ Ray Gronberg, Camila Molina and Tammy Grubb, Deadline News Reporting: Dailies Only, 3rd place, for “Duke Life Flight helicopter crashes, killing 4.”
Judges comments: “There just aren’t any weaknesses in this report. It reads clean from beginning to end while skillfully advancing the story with each paragraph. Nice finding background on previous crashes and information about helicopters. A solid piece of reporting, both in print and online.”
▪ Staff, Sports Coverage/Newspapers Only, 3rd place, for The Herald-Sun sports coverage of Aug. 12-13, 2017.
N.C. AP News Excellence Awards
▪ Colin Warren-Hicks, Walter Spearman Award Division II, 1st place, for “He Sat Behind Duke’s Bench at Cameron for 37 Years — and Coach K shook his hand before each game.”
Judges comments: “Deft writing makes this obituary engaging whether or not the reader knows the subject. It is hard to imagine anyone not reading every word.”
▪ Colin Warren-Hicks, Walter Spearman Award Division II, 2nd place, for “‘He could be a world champ,’ veteran ring trainer Turner says of The Bull City Bully.”
Judges comments: “Turning an interview into compelling dialogue is just one of several nice techniques in this fine example of ‘writing with all five senses.’”
▪ Casey Toth, North Carolina AP Member Photo of the Year (all classifications), sole winner for a photo of protesters toppling a Confederate statue in Durham on Aug. 14, 2017.
Editor’s note: The Walter Spearman Award is given for outstanding writing by a journalist with two years or less of daily newspaper experience. Division II recognizes papers with a weekly digital and print circulation footprint of 95,000 to 199,000.